Crafting the perfect piece

Learn from the best how to piece together your own haku lei.

But be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart or easily distracted.

A quality lei takes dedication.

“I say a minimum of three hours. I don’t want anyone to feel rushed,” said Elvrine Chow, of Heavenly Hakus, who will be leading a lei-making workshop from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at National Tropical Botanical Gardens Southshore Visitors Center. “They have to commit.”

The traditional haku-style lei is commonly worn by brides around their heads, like a veil. Chow will lead the workshop by walking around and giving one-on-one pointers to the students as they fashion together their own pieces. People are encouraged to bring flowers from their own gardens, but don’t have to. Chow will have plenty of petals on hand for people to use.

“What we love is when people bring flowers or foliage from their own gardens, because once people learn to make a haku lei from their own gardens, they can go home and practice more,” she said.

Before the workshop, Chow will put on a lei-making demonstration at 10 a.m., which is free. Tickets to the workshop cost $40, or $35 for NTBG members. Advanced registration is required.

Participants should be prepared to take home a finished product, too. Because a workshop, after all, means they will be working.

“Everyone goes home with a haku that they made themselves,” said Chow, adding that she loves carrying on the tradition of haku lei making. “It’s a class, but it’s a workshop. It’s also very creative, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.”

And allow yourself some time.

“Haku lei making is not a rush,” she said.

The Southshore Visitors Center is at 4425 Lawai Road. Info: 742-2433


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